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HEADLINE: CPL 2018 starts with a whimper, not a bang 2018-08-09 07:19:42 

Colin Munro and Denesh Ramdin powered the Trinbago Knight Riders to a record-breaking total before Dwayne Bravo and spin twins Sunil Narine and Fawad Ahmed sealed a thumping 100-run victory over the St Lucia Stars and a winning start to the defence of their Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title.

Munro, who started last season with an unbeaten 66 against the same opponents, this time smashed 68 from 48 balls in what was for much of the innings something of a lone hand for the Knight Riders. The champions had slipped to 89/4 before Ramdin (50* off 27) joined the New Zealander in a 50 partnership that helped the Knight Riders post a record-breaking Hero CPL total at the Queen’s Park Oval of 195/6. It was one that proved well beyond the Stars as soon as the spinners got to work.

The Stars failed to win a single match in the 2017 Hero CPL and any hope that they might pull off a record chase here were ended within the first eight overs of their reply amid a collapse from 35/0 to 53/6.

A fast start was crucial for the Stars, and initially they got it as back-to-back sixes for Andre Fletcher off Shannon Gabriel propelled them to 32/0 after the first two overs. But when Fletcher was undone by an Ali Khan knuckle-ball on 19, the Stars’ chase soon fizzled out.

Australia superstar David Warner was bowled by Javon Searles for 9 before Rahkeem Cornwall picked out Brendon McCullum at mid-wicket off Dwayne Bravo. Then the spinners took over.

Fawad Ahmed’s first Hero CPL over brought two wickets, a googly completely deceiving Lendl Simmons to bowl him through the gate before Mark Chapman slapped a low catch to Sunil Narine at cover.

Narine himself then got in on the act, pinning Darren Sammy plumb in front to leave the Stars reeling at 53/6. Fawad removed Qais Ahmad for 14 to finish his match-sealing four-over spell with 3/16.

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Norm 2018-08-09 08:47:36 

The performance of the St Lucia Stars was very poor, and should be a concern to the organizers. The WI 'B' team looked far more competitive in Canada.

Both Sammy and Sami looked like they did not belong. Sammy dropped a straightforward catch, misfielded, batted like a rank beginner and looked completely out of place without his captaincy role. Let's hope he was just rusty.

Sami looked fat and tired. The first few deliveries he bowled were about as "fast" as Narine's quicker deliveries. His fielding was as bad as Sammy's and he batted like the tailender he was.

Cornwall bowled quite well, despite being hit for a six. It is hard to understand why he only got a couple of overs. In the field, however, Cornwall was unable to take off quickly and any ball in his direction was sure to result in runs.

The 2 Star youngsters (from Aghanistan and Hong Kong) looked out of depth in the CPL and may prove to be liabilities to the team. Again, maybe they were just rusty.

Pollard bowled and led his team quite well, but his batting was a disappointment. Like many others (such as the Bravo brothers for the Trinidad Knight Riders), his apparent weakness to the short ball was effectively exploited.

Overall, the Stars were not a cohesive unit. They hardly cheered together, or appeared willing to work hard for each other.

For the Knight Riders, new leggie Fawad was excellent, and will form a good combination with Sunil. Munro started the tournament in excellent form, and Ramdin's excellent batting makes you wonder why he batted so poorly against Bangladesh.

Gabriel could not produce the speed, angle and line variations needed to adapt to the shortest format and was hammered all around the ground. Perhaps a bit more exposure will help him learn to adapt to this format.

In general, both teams did not hit the thundering sixes straight back that we have grown used to in the CPL. There were many edges to, and over, the third man area. Perhaps that will come soon tho.

Tough luck for the folks in Canada and some Caribbean territories, that cannot watch the CPL matches on TV.

sgtdjones 2018-08-09 11:30:01 

In reply to Norm

Great summation of the game last nite

The heroes of the game today? Colin Munro who set the game up with a blazing fifty and Denesh Ramdin who finished it off in style. Then with the ball, Fawad Ahmed broke the back of the chase with some fizzing googlies and flippers.
Once the damage was inflicted, Dwayne Bravo had some fun and nipped out wickets with his dipping slower deliveries.

Fawad Ahmed and Sunil Narine.

The former picked two wickets in his opening over and that completely destabilized the Stars' innings.

The spin twins finished with combined figures - 8-0-29-4.

Pollard's men couldn't recover from there and succumbed to a 100-run loss.

mikesiva 2018-08-10 07:08:49 

In reply to Norm

St Lucia fielding and catching were poor....

Given that they've almost completely changed their team, it seems like the same old story.

Priapus 2018-08-10 07:19:47 

In reply to mikesiva
It would not surprise me if they go winless again this year. Methinks they should revert to being called the Zouks- at least they won a few games with that name.